The Food Lover's Christmas Tree

Beyond Popcorn String: Candies for Your Christmas Tree Garland

published Dec 14, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

We totally get why people make popcorn garlands: they’re relatively easy to do, popcorn is lightweight, and you can get a big bag of kernels for, like, $10. Great! But why stop there? We raided a candy shop to find fun treats that’ll string up just as well.

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Gummy Lifesavers, gumboils, and mint leaves. (Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Unless otherwise noted, we made these with a sewing needle and some waxed floss, which conveniently comes in white (regular) or red (cinnamon!).

We know what some of you are thinking: Won’t these get gross and attract bugs or pests? Well, yes — if you leave them up for a long time. Just make a few feet and string one or two up around a dessert table for a holiday party.

Candies for Christmas Garlands

  • Swedish Fish: Pick out the orange fish (you can eat them … if you’re into the third best flavor!) and string up the green, yellow, and red ones. We alternated hanging them by the heads and tails — do them either way and they’ll look like old-fashioned string lights.
  • Marshmallows: These admittedly were the messiest of the bunch, but they’re less messy (and easier to work with) if you freeze the marshmallows first. String big and small ones into a fun pattern and let them harden overnight. By the time you wake up, they’ll be totally manageable — and totally cute.
  • Licorice: Rainbow Twizzlers come in all the colors you could possibly need. There’s red and green, of course, but we used yellow and blue for a cute Hanukkah-friendly version. Cut each Twizzler into quarters and thread the floss right through the hollow center.
  • Packaged Mints: Instead of a needle and floss, we actually attached these using glue dots (available at craft stores). The dots are incredibly easy to work with and way stronger than you’d think they’d be. To hang up the finished garland, tie pieces of string to the end mints, add loops to the string, and hang.
  • Wrapped Truffles: Thread your needle through the thicker parts the cellophane wrapper (closer to the chocolate) and they’ll stay securely on the floss. That is, until someone eats one.
  • Cherry Gummy Rings: These red-and-white gummies were practically made for Christmas. Thread your floss in and out of each candy’s top half and they’ll hang nearly perfectly straight.
  • Gummy Life Savers: Get a bag of wild berry gummy Life Savers and pull out the purple ones. Then, just string through the sides of the gummies and you’re done.
  • Gumballs: These will take a little more effort than the rest, but the payoff is totally worth it. Use a metal skewer to poke two holes (on opposite sides) into each gumball and make sure the holes go all the way through. Then, use floral wire instead of floss — it’s sturdier so it’s easier to poke through and more capable of holding the weight of all that sugar.
  • Spearmint Leaves: Minty and green, these are perfect for Christmas. They’re a little heavy, though, so just use a few and space them out along the floss.

Get your supplies: Most of these candies can be found at

Have you strung up anything else? Doughnuts? Mini bagels? Tell us about your own crafts!